The Khalil Amani Reader

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Jezebel: The First Ride-or-Die Chick!

By Khalil Amani

Forget all that “jazziebelle” (Shout-out to you ma!) stuff you’ve read or heard in church about the Old Testament character named Jezebel! Since time immemorial, her name has become synonymous with “whore,” “slut,” and any word demeaning women.

According to the Bible, Jezebel was the wife of Ahab, the king of northern Israel. She was not an Israelite/Jew, but a Phoenician, a princess, daughter of Ethbaal, king of Tyre. According to the genealogies of Jewish historian Flavius Josephus and other classical sources, she was the great-aunt of Dido, queen of Carthage. What’s the connection black people? Carthage is in North Africa. In other words, Jezebel was a woman of color—of African descent.

So why was Jezebel’s name drug through the mud of history? The Bible tells us that she “made” her husband Ahab, the King of Israel worship her god, Baal—that she convinced her hubby to erect altars in Israel to Baal and that Ahab took part in this worship. She became the “power behind the throne.” She was Coretta Scott King—Michelle Obama—a feared and revered personage of the female gender.

After Jezebel’s husband died, her sons became kings. Straightway, this Israelite prophet named Elisha started set tripping “catching feelings” and had another dude named Jehu anointed as king to overthrow the house of Ahab—Jezebel’s deceased husband's former throne. What did Jehu do? Murdered one Jezebel’s sons! And then the nigga stepped to Jezebel and convinced her bodyguards to kill her by throwing her out of a fucking window! They left her corpse in the street where dogs mauled her lifeless body and tore it from limb to limb. (See her story in I Kings 16:31; 22, II Kings 9)

All of this drama because she was trying to worship “God” as she saw fit. She became the archetypal “whore” and false prophet lover.

Now! Let’s look at it from Jezebel’s point-of-view! First and foremost, she didn’t come up believing in some Israelite god named “Yahweh/Jehovah!” But even still, she was not trying to bury the Israelite god—nay! She simply wanted her understanding of the Divine (God)—Baal to be represented alongside the Israelite god! What’s so fucking wrong with that? Ahab, her husband didn’t seem to mind! He was rather understanding—yea, tolerant of the beliefs of his wife. Thus, the Israelites had been and were “*henotheists” long before she rose to power. (*Henotheism is the belief and worship of a single god while accepting the existence or possible existence of other deities that may also be worshipped.)

Like us Americans, who have our many religions, sects, denominations, cults and Freedom of Religion to believe how we want to believe. She was attempting to practice the religion of her upbringing without denying or dissing her Israelite husband’s religion.

Ah! But those Jewish writers of the Bible! They assassinated her character big-time! She was about her man, her chirr’ren and about her religion! She was too strong of a woman for Jewish sensibilities! Once, when her husband Ahab came home pouting and acting all bitch-de-fied because another man wouldn’t sell his garden to him—he went and lie in bed with his face to the wall and wouldn’t eat. What did Jezebel do? She rode for that nigga! She told her man, “Don’t worry baby! I got this! When I get done with his ass the garden will be yours! Just rest your weary head on mama's pillow. I’ll be back!” Straightway, Jezebel went to her office and sat down and wrote some letters accusing the dude who wouldn’t sell his garden to her husband of cursing blaspheming God. They brought that nigga before the elders with two false witnesses who were lying through their teeth that, indeed, he’d said, “Fuck God!” Dude was found guilty and they stoned his ass into infamy!

Once dude was dead, Jezebel woke her husband up and told him to go claim the garden, because home-dude was deader-than-a-door-knob!

Now that’s a “ride-or-die” chick fo’ yo’ ass! Fuck whether it was wrong. That’s how they were living back then. Life wasn’t so “sacred.” Yes! Jezebel was a bad-bitch! She had some of the prophets of Israel murdered, but the Bible has given us a one-sided, biased view of what was going on. Jezebel was just trying to protect hers! Jezebel didn’t have a problem with a Jewish god and/or prophets! No! It was the Israelite prophets that were “hating” on her first! She was just that bad-bitch who fought back! “You wanna fuck with my religion/prophets? I’ll fuckin’ kill yours and my bitch-ass husband ain’t gonna say shit! I’m the fuckin’ power behind the throne! I can be cool, but I’ll come the fuck outta pocket if you try me!” That was her mentality!

 (Before Coffy/Foxy Brown, there was Jezebel, a chick that could fight and fuck!)

No one considers the other side of the story! We take the Bible as is! But someone said there are three (3) sides to every story; yours, mine, and the TRUTH, which, in most cases lie somewhere in the middle.

The Israelites were the aggressors. They were a people without a land—a freebooting, rogue, wandering people who, when they planted their flag on someone’s soil, decided that every shred of their history, culture and religion should be destroyed and supplanted with theirs. This is what Jezebel was fighting for—autonomy—freedom to worship!

It didn’t help that Ahab chose to “wife a bitch” from Samaria! Women in Samaria had much more freedom than their Jewish contemporaries. Samaria had the “Code of Hammurabi”— a “Ten Commandments” of sorts that was fair and equitable for women, unlike the 613 laws, statutes, judgments and commandments of Jewish law.

Like Mary Magdalene of the New Testament, who was much-maligned, so it is with Jezebel, but I'm here to give you that unfiltered ghetto-commentary on some shit you prolly didn't know.

You might think that Jezebel was a whore amongst whores, but if you really understood her devotion to her culture and her husband—you’d want a Jezebel in your life—a ride-or-die chick who would kill a nigga over your dirty drawhs! Jezebel was about that life! Fuck what you heard (in church)! Jezebel was the first “Ride-or-die” chick!

Khalil Amani writes for DJ Kay Slay's Straight Stuntin Magazine. Amani also writes for Hoodgroon, Maybach, Sext Magazines. Follow on Facebook Twitter @khalilamani. On YOUTUBE @ Khalil Amani.

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